This privacy notice sets out how Electoral Services will use and process your information.

This privacy notice is to be read in conjunction with the full London Borough of Lambeth privacy notice

The Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) and Returning Officer (RO) are data controllers who collect and use information about residents, candidates, election agents and election and electoral registration staff to enable us to carry out specific functions for which we are statutorily responsible.

Sections in this guide (click title to view)

1. What type of information is collected about you?

We keep records about potential and registered electors, voters, citizens, candidates and their agents, staff employed at elections and the people we need to pay. Information may be kept in either digital format (i.e. data within a software system or as scanned copies of documents) or hard copy printed format or both. These records may include:

  • Basic details about you – for example, your name, address, date of birth and nationality
  • Unique identifiers (such as your National Insurance number and date of birth)
  • Scanned application forms & dates of any letters of correspondence
  • Copies or details of proof of identity and eligibility
  • Notes about any relevant circumstances that you have told us
  • Your current and previous address or any alternative addresses
  • The other occupants in your home
  • If you are over 76 or under 18
  • Whether you have chosen to opt out of the Open version of the Register of Electors
  • Your signature
  • Contact details including telephone numbers and email addresses
  • Previous or forwarding addresses

In addition, if you work for the Returning Officer on election duties or for the Electoral Registration Officer for registration duties these may also include:

  • Your name and address
  • Your date of birth
  • Tax status
  • National Insurance number
  • Bank details
  • Next of kin / emergency contact details
  • Details of previous employment
  • Proof of eligibility to work in the UK

If you are a candidate at an election, an appointed agent at an election or a campaigner we may also hold these details:

  • Political party affiliation
  • Campaign group affiliation

2. The services and functions we need your information for

Your information will be used for the functions of the Electoral Services Department. The functions of the department are undertaken on behalf of the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO)/Returning Officer (RO) who is a data controller and collects your personal data from you for the purpose of:

  • Registering your right to vote *Processing any absent (postal or proxy) voting requests
  • Producing and maintaining an accurate register of electors
  • Delivering elections and referendums

3. The legal basis for processing your data

The collection and retention of data from individuals and inspection of other council records is governed by legislation. Your consent or permission to use your information is not needed as we are required by the following laws to do so:

  • Local Government Act 1972
  • Representation of the People Act 1983
  • Representation of the People Regulations 2001
  • Representation of the People (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2002 and 2006
  • European Parliamentary Elections (Registration of Citizens of Accession States) Regulations 2003
  • European Parliamentary Elections Regulations 2004
  • Local Elections (Principal Areas) Rules 2006
  • Representation of the People (England and Wales) (Amendment) (No 2) 2006
  • Electoral Administration Act 2006
  • Local Authorities (Mayoral Elections) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007
  • Greater London Authority Elections Rules 2007
  • European Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Regulations 2009
  • The Local Authorities (Mayoral Elections) (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2011
  • Greater London Authority Elections (Amendment) Rules 2012
  • Neighbourhood Planning (Referendums) Regulations 2012
  • Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013

It is a legal requirement to provide the ERO your personal data when requested. Whilst it is not a legal requirement to vote, it is a legal requirement for all eligible electors to be registered to vote.

4. Who your information may be shared with

Information recorded on the electoral register (both full and open) can be accessed and shared with a wide range of people. Your information may be shared with the following organisations and individuals:

  • British Library
  • UK Statistics Authority
  • Electoral Commission
  • Boundary Commission for England
  • Jury Summoning Bureau
  • Elected Representatives (MP, MEPS, Local Councillors)
  • Police and Crime Commissioner
  • Candidates standing for elections
  • Local and National Political Parties and Registered Campaigners
  • The Council
  • Parish and Community councils
  • Police Forces and the National Crime Agency
  • Public Library or local authority archive services
  • Government departments or bodies (including the cabinet office)
  • Credit Reference Agencies
  • National Fraud Initiative
  • Partner Electoral Registration and Returning Officers

We also have to disclose (share) your information with our software providers and contracted printers for the purposes of carrying out our duties of electoral registration and elections.

It is a crime for anyone who has a copy of the full register to pass information from this register on to others, if they do not have a lawful reason.

In addition to the above groups, the Electoral Register can be inspected for free by any member of the public. If you are concerned that having your name or address on the electoral register may affect your safety, there could be other options available to you, such as anonymous registration. In certain limited circumstances, you can register without your name and address showing on the register.

Copies of the open register (an edited copy of the electoral register) can be purchased from the Electoral Registration Officer. Your name and address will be included in the open register unless you ask for them to be removed. Removing your details from the open register does not affect your right to vote.

To verify your identity, the data you provide on any application form to register to vote will be processed by the Individual Electoral Registration Digital Service (IER-DS) managed by the Cabinet Office. As part of this process your data will be shared with the Department of Work and Pensions and the Cabinet Office suppliers that are data processors for the Individual Electoral Registration Digital Service. You can find more information about this at GOV.UK.

Staffing data may be shared with other Returning Officers and Electoral Registration Officers as appropriate. All staff details will also be shared with our payroll team and/or external payroll service providers and HMRC to make payments.

Details of candidates, election agents, subscribers to nomination papers and other political campaigners may be published where the law requires.

5. How long we will keep your information

The Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer are obliged to process your personal data in relation to preparing for and conducting elections. Your details will be kept and updated in accordance with our legal obligations and in line with statutory retention periods.

Your information will be kept on the Electoral Register until you tell us that you have moved, or we have been informed that you no longer live at a property.

The register is regularly reviewed and new updates are published frequently. Old copies of the register are then kept at our offices or sent to our archives. These are public records and your information will be kept in accordance with statutory time limits.

6. Your rights

The Data Protection Act 2018 allows you to find out what information is held about you, on paper and computer records. This is known as ‘right of subject access’ and applies to your Electoral Services records along with all other personal records. If you wish to see a copy of your records you should contact us. You are entitled to receive a copy of your records free of charge, within a month. In certain circumstances access to your records may be limited, for example, if the records you have asked for contain information relating to another person.

You have the right to request the erasure of your personal data (‘right to be forgotten’). You have the right to request that we stop, or restrict the processing of your personal data, in certain circumstances. Where possible we will seek to comply with your request, but we may be required to hold or process information to comply with a legal requirement.

The Data Protection Act 2018 also allows you other rights; for example if there is an error in your records you have the right to make sure it is rectified or erased. You have the right to opt out of the Open Version of the Register, at any time, and we must remove you from this version and tell the statutory recipients in the next update. You have the right to be told if we have made a mistake whilst processing your data and we must self-report breaches to the Information Commissioner.

If you're dissatisfied with how the Electoral Registration Officer/Returning Officer has used your personal information you have a right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office at casework@ico.org.uk.

7. Contact us

Data Controller Andrew Travers, (Electoral Registration Officer / Returning Officer.